Pirate shoes at the ready and off we go!

I’ve been quiet on here, but out in the real world I’ve been making lots of noise.

March kicked off with World Book day and a trip to the Spread the Word festival in Merthyr Tydfil for a day of writing workshops. Mayhem ensured with pirate poetry duels, amazing tales, and more rhymes for Cassie O’Pia than you’d think possible (my favourites were diarrhoea and onomatopoeia – look out for new verses of Cassie’s epic ballad!) Meanwhile, the little ‘uns enjoyed a pirate story or two and designed their own pirate ships.

Merthyr Spread the Word prepares for pirating adventures

The following week saw a return visit to St Cenydd’s School in Caerphilly to repeat my heroes and villains workshop with the rest of year 7. Once again, the kids had great fun, and came up with many villainous plots for world domination.

Then the big tour began. First a day at Blackheath School in London and my crew of young pirates did splendidly. We chose our pirate names, improvised battles over imaginary treasure, wrote and performed yet more pirate songs with much laughter and shouting of ‘Arrrr!’

Lovely piles of books to sign at Blackheath Prep School

On to Norwich, and this is what an author’s life should be like. A hotel with a giant, luxury bathroom. All mine for two nights, and all I had to do in return was go to schools, jump up and down excitedly and shout about pirates. Arrrr!

Thanks are due to Lois at Jarrolds book department, and the fabulous publicity team at Macmillan for making this tour such a success.

And finally, last but definitely not least, I dropped in to visit a local primary school. I’d received a lovely email from one of the teachers, saying her kids were reading Accidental Pirates for World Book Day and asking if I could write them a letter to encourage them. As it was only a short trip, I suggested visiting instead. It was lovely to meet the teachers and the children. Best of all, the children were so enthused about reading that they’ve been bringing books into school from home.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about doing school visits initially but now I love getting up in front of people and inspiring them to tell stories. This seems to be one of the rare privileges of writing children’s books – to share your love of reading and to see people taking their first steps in telling their own stories.

My next book, JOURNEY TO DRAGON ISLAND will be out on May 18th, and I have a new writing workshop to go with it, complete with a map by the brilliant Becka Moor. I’ll be posting a sneak preview soon. For the next month, it’s head down and finish the edits on my top secret third book (I’m not saying what it’s about yet, but there are no pirates!)



1 thought on “Phew!

  1. There is nothing better for kids than meeting authors up close & personally. It inspires them to be imaginative, too! Thanks for doing all you do that takes you on the other side of the pen. Can’t wait for Journey to Dragon Island!! VTMN was one of my favorite MG books I reviewed last year.

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